This cherry cola salad is my low carb version of the classic retro Southern dessert! Sugar free and keto friendly recipe.
This post may contain affiliate links.
After some research I found that this Southern dessert dates back to the 50s, although it seemed to become popular again in the 80s. Typical ingredients are cherry pie filling, gelatin, and canned crushed pineapple, but I've also seen versions with cream cheese, celery, pecans, coconut, and more!
Obviously the main ingredients are way too high in carbs to contemplate – apart from the gelatin where Simply Delish can be used. Fresh cherries contain 25g net carbs for a 5 oz serving, which also makes them problematic. My solution: to use strawberries (only 9g net carbs for a 5 oz serving) and give them a cherry flavor!
For the cola flavoring, you can of course use Diet Coke or Diet Pepsi, but I realize that they aren't suitable for everyone, so here are some alternatives:
- Zevia Cola – zero carb and sweetened with stevia – available from Amazon and Netrition
- Virgil's Zero Sugar Cola – zero carb and sweetened with erythritol – available from Amazon
- Celcius Sparkling Cola – 2g net carbs and sweetened with sucralose
How to Make a Low Carb Cherry Cola Salad
To make the faux cherries, macerate some strawberries in some sugar free cherry syrup. You may remember that I used this in my sparkling rose cocktail, and although it doesn't have a true cherry flavor, it's perfect for this recipe!
Empty a packet of Simply Delish Black Cherry Jel Dessert into a jug and mix it with the cola. It will fizz up but very soon calm down.
Add some boiling water and mix well until all the jel granules have dissolved. Next, pour the cherry-infused strawberries and the syrup into the jug, and stir to combine.
Pour the mixture into four serving dishes/ramekins or one large bowl.
Let cool to room temperature then let set in the fridge for at least an hour.
I enjoyed the salad just like this, but you could also add some whipped cream or a simple cream cheese topping!
- To make the faux cherries, macerate the strawberries in the cherry syrup for at least an hour.
- Empty the Jel Dessert into a jug and mix it with the cola. It will fizz up but will quickly calm down.
- Add some boiling water and mix well until all the jel granules have dissolved. ½ cup of boiling water will give you a firmer salad, ¾ cup will make it more jiggly.
- Next, pour the cherry-infused strawberries and the syrup into the jug, stir to combine, then transfer to four serving dishes or one large bowl.
- Let cool to room temperature then let set in the fridge for at least an hour.
2g net carbs per serving (quarter of the whole recipe)
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size ½ cup
Amount Per Serving Calories 17Total Fat 0gSaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 3mgCarbohydrates 6.7gNet Carbohydrates 2gFiber 1.7gSugar 1.7gSugar Alcohols 3gProtein 0.3g